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African Americans in San Antonio
Total population
103,671 (2019)
Languages
Southern American English, Texan English, African American English, African American Vernacular English
Religion
Black Protestant, Roman Catholic

The African American population in San Antonio, Texas has been a significant part of the city's community since its founding. African Americans have been a part of the Greater San Antonio's history since the late 1800s.[1] San Antonio ranks as the top Texas destination city for Black professionals.[2]

History

The first Africans that lived in San Antonio were Afro-Mexicans when Texas was still a part of Mexico before the Mexican–American War. African slaves arrived in 1528 in Spanish Texas.[3] In 1792, there were 34 blacks and 414 mulattos in Spanish Texas.[4] Anglo white immigration into Mexican Texas in the 1820s brought an increased numbers of slaves.[5] Many African Americans in Texas remained in slavery until after the U.S. Civil War ended. There was scarce Union Army activity in Texas, preventing them from joining the Northern lines. During the Reconstruction era, newly emancipated African American slaves began moving from rural areas in Texas to San Antonio, establishing Freedmen's Towns on the city's East Side. Ellis Alley was one of the first African-American settlements in San Antonio. The census recorded 592 African-American slaves of 3,488 total residents living in San Antonio in 1850, five years after Texas joined the United States.[6] Although slavery ended after the U.S. Civil War, by the mid-1870s racial segregation became codified throughout the South, including Texas. African Americans left Texas by the tens of thousands during the Great Migration in the first half of the 20th century, seeking work and political opportunities elsewhere. African Americans in San Antonio were poorly represented by the predominantly white state legislature and city council, and were politically disenfranchised during the Jim Crow era; whites had used a variety of tactics, including militias and legislation, to re-establish political and social supremacy throughout the South. Racial segregation ended in the mid-1960s. On March 16, 1960, San Antonio became the first southern city to begin integration of its small restaurants when Richard Hunt sat at the lunch counter of the Woolworth's lunch counter in Alamo Plaza.[7] In the 1970s, the African American population in San Antonio was 7.6 percent. Forbes ranked San Antonio in one of The Top 10 Cities Where African-Americans Are Doing The Best Economically.[8] San Antonio ranks as the top Texas destination city for Black professionals and entrepreneurs.[2] In addition to the New Great Migration, many African Americans in the US are now recently moving to San Antonio for lower cost of living and more job opportunities.[9] San Antonio is considered more affordable in lower cost of living than Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, which is an additional draw for many African Americans.[10] San Antonio's Black population also increased by more than 10,000 throughout the decade. When the census numbers were collected last year, there were nearly 94,000 non-Hispanic Black residents were living in the city, amounting to 6.5 percent of the total population. 13 percent increase from the number of residents recorded in 2010.[11] An additional 25,000 to 35,000 mostly black evacuees arrived in 2005 from the New Orleans metro after Hurricane Katrina with many of them deciding to stay in San Antonio.[12] Ivy Taylor was also the first African American to be elected mayor of San Antonio and only the second woman in the position.[13] Successful Black-owned businesses are abound in San Antonio.[14]

Demographics

In the 1970s, The African American population in San Antonio was 7.6 percent.[6] The number of blacks increased in San Antonio, growing by 25 percent throughout the last decade, which was a surge of more than 29,000 people. Nearly 148,000 blacks were living in Bexar County by 2020. They accounted for 7.4 percent of Bexar County's population up from 6.9 percent in 2010 and still increasing.[11]

The East Side of San Antonio has a large concentration of predominantly African American residents. Denver Heights is historically one of the oldest black neighborhoods in San Antonio.[citation needed] Outside of the East Side, the San Antonio black population of both working and middle-class black families is located on the diverse Northeast Side in areas like Camelot, Converse, Sunrise and Dignowity Hill as their presence has been around since the 1980s and 90s.[citation needed] African Americans are also located in parts of San Antonio’s West Side.[15]

Cuisine

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There are plenty of Black-owned restaurants and cultural staples around San Antonio that offer up everything from seafood, Soul food, Creole, barbecue, wings, vegan and Ethiopian such as Tony G’s Soul Food, Ma Harper’s Creole Kitchen, & Big Mama’s Taste of Soul.[16]

Politics

Ivy Taylor

Ivy Taylor was the first African American to be elected mayor of San Antonio and only the second woman in the position.[13] In addition, Taylor was the first female African-American mayor of a city with a population of more than one million.[17] Taylor was elected to San Antonio City Council in 2009 to represent District 2 on the east side of the city, and was re-elected to the body in 2011 and 2013.[18][19] In 2021, Councilmember Jalen McKee-Rodriguez was elected to serve City Council District 2. The Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce in San Antonio was established in April, 1938.

Media

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The San Antonio Observer is a weekly tabloid established in 1995,[20] and bills itself as the only African American newspaper in San Antonio.[21] The newspaper attracted national attention in 2016 when it held a news conference for a police shooting of an unarmed Black man, and announced, then later retracted, a threat to reveal the addresses of all police officers in San Antonio.[20][22]

Cultural institutions

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The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAAACAM) is a digital archive and museum located in the La Villita Historic Arts Village District near the San Antonio River Walk.[23]

100 Black Men of San Antonio, Inc. is to improve the quality of life within the communities and enhance educational and economic opportunities for youth in the community.[citation needed]

The Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce serves and supports black businesses and professionals.[8]

Education

St. Philip’s College in San Antonio

Colleges and universities

St. Philip's College is a public community college located in San Antonio, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is the westernmost HBCU in the United States. St. Philip's College, a part of the Alamo Colleges District, currently serves more than 11,000 students in over 70 different academic and technical disciplines. It is the only college to be federally designated as both a historically black college and a Hispanic-serving institution.

Primary and secondary schools

Sam Houston High School, is a historically African American public high school with a Hispanic student body. It is one of the first African American high Schools in San Antonio; it is located in eastern San Antonio and classified as a 4A school by the UIL. This school is one of twelve schools in the San Antonio Independent School District. In 2015, the school was rated "Met Standard" by the Texas Education Agency.[citation needed]

Religion

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Mount Zion First Baptist Church is an historic African American church located at 333 Martin Luther King Drive in San Antonio, Texas. Founded in 1871 by former slaves, the church has since provided ministerial services to thousands and played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement of the city. In 1949 the Reverend Claude Black Jr. became pastor and lead the church to national prominence in the National Baptist Convention. Pastor Black who would become a Civil Rights icon and city councilman would invite figures controversial at the time to speak from his pulpit. Some of those would include Thurgood Marshall, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Azie Taylor Morton, Percy Sutton, Barbara Jordan and others. The church created the city's first black owned credit union as well as Project Free, a program dedicated to assisting the poor and the elderly. The church was burned down by arson in 1974, but rebuilt the following year.[citation needed]

Events and recreation

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Notable African-American cultural point of interest includes the San Antonio African American Community Archive & Museum.[citation needed][24]

Juneteenth

Juneteenth is an annual celebration recognizing the emancipation of black slaves in Texas. President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and published it on January 1, 1863, but it did not reach Texas until June 19, 1865. Over the next few years, African-American populations across Texas collected money to buy property dedicated to Juneteenth celebrations.[citation needed]

The State of Texas made Juneteenth a holiday at the state level after Al Edwards, a member of the Texas House of Representatives from Houston, proposed it as a bill.[25]

MLK March

In 1987, the City of San Antonio’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission held its first official march, building on marches that have occurred since 1968.[26] The event typically draws more than 300,000 participants and is one of the largest in the United States.[26][27]

San Antonio Black Restaurant Week

San Antonio is renowned for its food trucks, restaurants and cuisines and black owned restaurants play a large part in the annual event. San Antonio Black Restaurant Week will showcase food trucks and Black-owned businesses such as health and wellness, catering and event planning companies.[28]

San Antonio Royal Steppaz

San Antonio Royal Steppaz is an African American trail riding group founded during the pandemic to connect members to nature and history.[29]

Notable residents

This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "History of African Americans in San Antonio" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (February 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

See also

References

https://www.blacksinsanantonio.com/

  1. ^ "How the Eastside Became Home to San Antonio's Black Community". San Antonio Report. 2018-01-15. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  2. ^ a b "San Antonio makes top 10 list in best cities for Black professionals, #1 in Texas".
  3. ^ "The African American Story | Texas State History Museum". www.thestoryoftexas.com. Retrieved 2021-05-30.
  4. ^ "TSHA | African Americans".
  5. ^ "A Lasting Legacy - Texas Historical Commission" (PDF).
  6. ^ a b African Americans." Handbook of Texas
  7. ^ Mendoza, By Madalyn (2015-06-24). "San Antonio Was The First Southern City to integrate lunch counters". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 2023-08-24.
  8. ^ a b Kotkin, Joel (16 January 2015). "The cities where African Americans are doing the best economically". Forbes. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  9. ^ Sisson, Carmen K. (16 March 2014). "Why African-Americans are moving back to the South". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  10. ^ "6 Ways San Antonio is More Affordable Than Austin, Dallas, and Houston".
  11. ^ a b O'Hare, By Peggy (2021-08-13). "Latinos, Blacks Show Strong Growth in San Antonio as White Population Declines". San Antonio Express-News.
  12. ^ Reagan, Mark. "Transplanted San Antonians Reflect On Hurricane Katrina 10 Years Later". Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Svitek, Patrick (June 14, 2015). "Taylor's San Antonio Win a Wake-Up Call for Democrats". Texas Tribune. Austin, Texas. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  14. ^ "San Antonio Black-owned restaurants and businesses you can support right now".
  15. ^ "History Untold: Black community's roots on the West Side of San Antonio". ksat.com. 2023-04-07.
  16. ^ Santana, Steven (2023-02-22). "Delicious Black-owned restaurants to try in San Antonio". MYSA.
  17. ^ Selby, W. Gardner (August 6, 2014). "With Ivy Taylor, San Antonio is largest U.S. city to ever have African American female mayor". PolitiFact.com. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  18. ^ Baugh, Josh (July 22, 2014). "San Antonio chooses Ivy Taylor as new mayor". San Antonio Express-News. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  19. ^ "Mayor Ivy R. Taylor". City of San Antonio. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  20. ^ a b Locklear, Michael (2016-02-08). "SA tabloid publisher: No plans to print police officers' names, addresses". WOAI. Retrieved 2023-02-18.
  21. ^ "About Us". saobserver. 2023-01-31. Retrieved 2023-02-18.
  22. ^ Stengle, Jamie (2016-02-10). "Friend of Texas man shot by police wants public's attention". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2023-02-18.
  23. ^ San Antonio African, American Community Archive and Museum. "San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum". San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum. Retrieved June 24, 2023.
  24. ^ San Antonio African, American Community Archive and Museum. [saaacam.org "San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum"]. San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum. Retrieved June 24, 2023. ((cite web)): Check |url= value (help)
  25. ^ Homer, Michelle (2020-06-17). "How to celebrate Juneteenth in Houston, Galveston and other nearby cities". KHOU. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  26. ^ a b Martinez, Sarah (2023-01-13). "San Antonio's Martin Luther King Jr. march largest in the nation". mySA. Retrieved 2023-02-18.
  27. ^ Holly Yan, Eric Levenson (2019-01-21). "These are some of the biggest MLK Day celebrations across the country". CNN. Retrieved 2023-02-18.
  28. ^ Coble, Kristina (2022-02-17). "Black Restaurant Week San Antonio is back for 2022". MYSA. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  29. ^ Barrera, Alicia (2022-02-17). "Local organization aims to preserve Black cowboy culture through trail riding". KSAT-TV. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  30. ^ McArthur, Judith. "BOWDEN, ARTEMISIA". Handbook of Texas Online.
  31. ^ Conde, Chris (26 February 2021). "A Brief Introduction To Powerful Black Artists In San Antonio". San Antonio Express-News.
  32. ^ "Music Beat: Mel Waiters is a master of Southern soul". San Antonio Express-News. October 15, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2020.